Monday, May 16, 2011

(Someday) Famous YA Author -- Mindi Scott

Someday Famous YA Author is a series of interviews with awesome authors, famous now or future famous, who write for young people.

If you've read my blog in the past, you'll know I adore Mindi Scott. She writes books with teens in them. Her debut novel, FREEFALL, was published last year by Simon Pulse. Read Here

About FREEFALL (description taken from Goodreads):

How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend, Isaac, alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time when Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn't wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend's death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth soon realizes he isn't the only one who needs saving . . .  

If you enjoy contemporary novels with real characters, you'll love FREEFALL.

Mindi has graciously given her time to answer some questions for the blog today. See how cool she is? Here we go...

Me: Seth has become like the guy that should have his own poster because all your fans would probably buy it and hang it on their walls to goggle and daydream over. Unlike many YA novels, Seth feels like a real guy you'd find at any high school. I think that's one of the reasons peeps are so drawn to him.

Since the story is told in his POV AND in first-person, I'm wondering how difficult was it for you to pull that off so well. What was the process like to wrap yourself inside a teenage guy's head?

Mindi: Oh, man. A Seth poster! My editor teases me because of how much I do not see him like that. I think he is a very good-looking boy, but I've just spent waaaay too much time in that kid's head, you know? (That said, thinking about Rosetta never fails to make things get all slow-motion-y. I'm a straight woman, but she had such an effect on Seth that I still haven't totally gotten over it.)

Let me try to think back on my process of writing Seth. One thing I did a lot of during that time was read other young adult novels from male points of view. There was probably a solid year or more where I read very little from female POVs so that I could stay focused. Also, a good portion of my waking hours were spent thinking about Seth and trying to imagine how he'd see things, how he'd feel about them. At the start, I'd write sentences in my own words and then work on how to make them sound like him. Usually, it involved cutting out about half of the words, and then pulling out a thesaurus to change most of what I had left. Eventually, his voice came naturally, but it took a lot of practice to get to that point.

The other day, I randomly flipped open a copy of Freefall and read a few sentences and was like, "Whoa. How did I do that?" because it is very much not me and all Seth. I'm the only one of us who is the real person here... right? ;-)

Me: There are so many things I LOVE about "Freefall." The characters and setting and plot...oh my. What inspired you to write this story?

Mindi: Awww, thank you! I'm so happy to hear that!

The inspiration for this story came mostly from Rosetta, who appeared out of nowhere one day. I then pondered who would be The Boy Who Could Love Her. He turned out to be Seth and I decided to tell the story from his point of view instead of hers. Yay! Quite simply: I wanted to bring these two very different people together. So I did. 

Me: Your next novel, "Live Through This," comes out next fall. (Which seems like forever from now.) What would you like the world to know about this novel? What stage are you at in the process--are you still editing or is it complete?

Mindi: I am still editing. I have a lot left to do to get it ready, so it is lucky for me that the release date is next year! For now, I would like the world to know the following about Live Through This:

a. This story is about a girl who lives in Kenburn, the same town in which Freefall takes place. No guarantees (since I am still editing and things are changing), but there's a good chance that a familiar character or two might pop up at some point!

b. I've been told that this book is similar to Freefall in that it addresses Issues without reading totally like an Issue Book. There's also emotional stuff along with some humor and hope. And, seriously, lots of flirting! This time around, I believe that the overall tone is livelier, but the lows go much lower. We'll see if others agree when the time comes!

c. I wrote this book for exactly one reason: It was the book I needed to read when I was a teen. I'm hoping more than anything that the girls and guys out there who might need it will find it.

And now the easy.

Me: I have to admit that many of the things that drew me to "Freefall" before I had heard about it were similarities I have with you, the author. I LOVE that you're a vegetarian. I adore that you live in Washington. Washington authors are so rad. We both have worked for attorneys in the past. Plus, we both enjoy Blind Melon. I'm sure you're more of a fan of Blind Melon than I am, but still. I'm more like an early 1990's Blind Melon fan.

That said, what's your favorite vegetarian dish/food to eat?

Mindi: We do have a lot in common!

Hmm. Let's see. My favorite vegetarian dish lately is stuffed bell peppers. I keep inventing all these new recipes (with mixed results, naturally) and I'm so hooked.

Me: What is your favorite Blind Melon song?

Mindi: I might very well be more of a BM fan than you (and most people!), but I do want to clarify that while BM will always be a part of me, I don't listen to their music much these days. I had their first three CDs on constant repeat while I was going through some rough stuff in my 20s. Sometimes it's hard to go back to that. Plus, despite what my debut novel might have people believing, self-destructive musicians really, really, really are not my thing these days. :-)

That said, I love just about everything off the Soup album. My all-time favorite BM song is "Galaxie" and a close second is "Walk." "Walk" is about battling addiction, I believe, but some days, it really relates to life in general:

And under a sun that's seen it all before
My feet are so cold
And I can't believe that I have to bang my head against this wall again
But the blows they have just a little more space in between them
Gonna take a breath and try, try again.   

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Angela! These were fun questions!  :-)

Back to Me:   I may seem like a stalker, but I'm truly not. Mindi Scott's a really cool author and I like to know stuff about really cool authors so that I may share their novels with the world--or at least the few people who follow this blog. ;)

Thank you  Mindi for spending some time with us! And thanks to my followers for checking out this interview. Be sure to also check out FREEFALL if you haven't already at your local indie book store or HERE from Amazon. Also, keep an eye out for LIVE THROUGH THIS fall of 2012.

I'm not sure what it is about the music from the early nineties that conjures dark sentiment for me. Perhaps it was a despairing time, an age of wandering alone to a murky rhythm, destination unknown. Late teens and early twenties were like that. Hell, mid-thirties are still like that. Whatever the reason, Blind Melon, Nirvana, Soul Asylum, Spin Doctors and all those other rad bands from that era always cause me to reminisce. It's probably that way for everyone. Perhaps it's the mourning of lost time. Anyhoo, in honor of Mindi Scott, I was unable to find a video of "Walk" (which I am bummed about), but here is "Galaxie" instead.

And since we are going back in time, a song that still melts my tear ducts, "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum.

If you enjoyed this interview, please follow my blog. There shall be more in the future. :)

Peace out.

PS -- I TOTALLY LOVE STUFFED BELL PEPPERS, TOO! What's your favorite dish?

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